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Concentration of Enterprise (1882-1907)

Industrialization in Wilhelmine Germany saw a shift away from small-scale production toward a greater concentration of businesses. The size of trade and industrial companies grew, and the number of employees in mining and salt works declined.

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Employees in industries, trades, and mining, classified according to company size

Year

Employees per company

1-5

6-10

11-50

51-200

201-1,000

above 1,000

1

2

3

4

5

6

%

 

Industry and trades

1882

59.8

4.4

13.0

11.8

9.1

1.9

1895

41.8

7.4

17.3

17.4

12.8

3.3

1907

31.2

7.0

19.4

20.8

16.7

4.9

 

Mining and salt works

1882

1.7

0.8

5.9

14.6

44.0

33.0

1895

0.8

0.6

4.0

11.2

36.8

46.6

1907

0.7

0.3

2.5

9.6

28.7

58.2



The data in the table is based on the results of the business censuses. Companies were counted as a production unit even if the sole full-time employee of a business was its owner; however, the count excluded work that was merely temporary in nature.

Separate data was collected pertaining to production units of an integrated business (company as a whole) if its marketable products had to be classified as belonging to different business types. Therefore, each technically self-contained production unit counted as one company, which applied equally to all businesses of the same owner as well, even to the same types of business, as long as they were separate in terms of space. Cf. Statistik des Deutschen Reichs. [Statistics of the German Reich], new version, vol. 6,1 (1886), p. 23.

In contrast to the 1875 business census, the 1882 census and those carried out afterwards ensured that neither companies nor parts of the workforce were counted twice, thus providing for overall comparability of results from 1882 onward. (Cf. Hesse, A., Gewerbestatistik [Industry Statistics], p. 23.)



Source: Walther G. Hoffmann, Das Wachstum der deutschen Wirtschaft seit der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts [The Growth of the German Economy since the Middle of the 19th Century]. Berlin, 1965, p. 212.

Table published in Gerd Hohorst, J├╝rgen Kocka and Gerhard A. Ritter, Sozialgeschichtliches Arbeitsbuch: Materialien zur Statistik des Kaiserreichs 1870-1914 [Social History Workbook: Materials on Kaiserreich Statistics 1870-1914]. Munich, 1975, vol. 2, p. 75.

Translation: Erwin Fink

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